created by Glenn Tamashiro

Hello and welcome. This site was developed to keep you informed about the various lessons and activities that are held in our Government/Economics and Honors Government/AP Macroeconomics classes.


HGov: AP Boot Camp



Honors Gov students
Tuesday September 6th @ 12:00
in the Auditorium

Come join us.
See you there!


Summer’s Ending

Summer is drawing to a close. Get ready for another school year. Go Bruins!


HGov: Political Power

There are five sources of political power: persuasion, formal authority, expertise, coercion, and rewards. For persuasion, power flows from the power holder’s ability to persuade or influence others. In formal authority, power comes from the power holder’s position and duties within the organization. For expertise, power is derived from the power holder’s specific skills or expertise. Under coercion, power springs from the power holder’s ability to punish or penalize others. For rewards, power comes from the power holder’s ability to give something of value, such as money, responsibility, or praise. Political leaders often combine these sources of power to get citizens to act in a certain way.  For example, a political leader might speak to the nation, which combines formal authority and persuasion, about offering tax breaks (a reward) to people who buy fuel-efficient cars.

Politics is a form of competition. Politicians and citizens who engage in political activity are all players in the game of politics. The following are the goals and strategies of five political games.

Horse trading is described as winning by giving to get. Horse trading is the kind of hard bargaining that goes on in politics. The key players are often politicians who want something that they cannot get without help from their political opponents. The objective of the horse trading game is to achieve a “win-win situation,” in which both players walk away satisfied. The basic strategy involves giving up something one’s opponent wants in exchange for something of equal or greater value.

Walkout is winning by refusing to play. The walkout game is similar to horse trading in some ways. But instead of giving something to the opposition, players take something away usually themselves. They walk out of the game and refuse to return until the opposition agrees to give them something they want.

Power struggle is winning by being smarter and stronger than the opposition. Politics often involves power struggles between people with very different goals. When engaged in such a struggle, clever politicians try to win by outfoxing or overpowering their opponents.

Demolition derby is winning by wiping out the opposition. While the goal of the power struggle game is survival in a sea of enemies, the aim of demolition derby is the complete destruction of one’s opponents. The key players in demolition derby are those who command the means of force. They include military leaders, dictators, and monarchs. Players use a variety of strategies, ranging from fear and intimidation to murder and massacres, to wipe out the opposition.

Civil disobedience is winning by shaming the opposition. At the opposite end of the spectrum from demolition derby players are those who forsake violence for the moral high road. The key players in the political game of civil are people of conscience, moral crusaders whose goal is to end some social or political evil. Their strategy involves publicly shaming the opposition. They accomplish this by deliberately disobeying what they consider an unjust law. The word civil in this game’s name means having to do with citizens. As the name suggests, the players in this game are usually ordinary citizens protesting an injustice. In this game, the protest typically involves an in-your-face but peaceful confrontation with authorities. By remaining nonviolent, the protesters hope to contrast their high oral vision with the unjust laws and actions of the government.


1) Current Events entry for August 22-26
2) Current Events entry for August 29 – September 2
3) Chapters 1-5 Test on Thursday 9/8.


HGov: American Principles and Values

American Principles Values
The people of other nations take their identity from the  common ancestry that led them to gather under one flag.  Americans are different. Their ideals are the basis of their  national identity. They are people linked by a set of principles  that became its common bond.

The United States is a country  of immigrants. Nationalities that warred constantly in Europe had to find a way to live together in the New World. American ideals contributed to a oneness among nationalities that had never trusted one another before. Americans are one people brought together through allegiance to a set of common ideals such as liberty and equality. They form a political culture which refers to the characteristic and deep-seated beliefs of a particular people about government and politics.

These core ideals are rooted in the European heritage of the first settlers that arrived during the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment awakened people to the idea of human progress. These settlers wanted freedom to practice religion and hoped for greater self-governance. Their beliefs were shaped by European thought and practice, which had been molded by Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions. America’s ideals begins with a recognition that the individual comes first. Government is secondary. Government’s role is to serve the people, as opposed to a system in which government is at the pinnacle and the people are expected to glorify it.

Liberty, equality, and self-government are regarded as America’s core political ideals. Liberty is the principle that individuals should be free to act and think as they choose, provided they do not infringe unreasonably on the freedom and well-being of others. At the time of the writing of the Constitution in 1787, liberty was conceived as protection against unwarranted government interference in people’s lives. Or example, the First Amendment defines a set of actions that government is forbidden to take.

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

A new threat to personal liberty emerged during the Industrial Revolution. Business trusts gouged customers and forced laborers to work long hours at low pay in unsafe factories. Americans looked to government for protection against powerful economic interests. Business regulation, social security, and minimum-wage laws were among the resulting policies.

A second American political ideal is equality. Equality is the notion that all individuals are equal in their moral worth, are entitled to equal treatment under the law, and in their political voice. However, equality has been a less clearly defined concept than liberty. Americans argue over the meaning of equality. Does equality require that wealth and opportunity be widely shared? Or does it merely require that artificial barriers to advancement be removed? Despite differing opinions, the quest for equality is a distinctive feature of the American experience.

America’s third political ideal is self-government. It is the principle that people are the ultimate source of government authority and must have a voice in how they are governed. Federal and state constitutions were based on the idea that government is properly founded on the will of the people.

american_indv_logoThe American Creed is the set of core values that includes other principles. Individualism is the idea that people should take the initiative, be self-sufficient, and accumulate the material advantages necessary for their well-being. Individualism stems from the belief that people, if free to pursue their own path and not unfairly burdened, can attain their fullest potential.

Unity and diversity are also part of the American Creed. Unity is the principle that Americans are one people and form an indivisible union. Diversity is the principle that individual and group differences should be respected and are a source of national strength. These two principles acknowledge at once both the differences and the oneness that are part of the American experience.

Ideals serve to define the boundaries of action. They do not determine exactly what people will do, but they affect what people will regard as reasonable and desirable. Cultural beliefs originate in a country’s political and social practices, but they are not perfect representatives of these practices. Although they are mythic, inexact, and conflicting, these ideals have had a powerful effect on what generation after generation of Americans has tried to achieve politically for themselves and others.


1) Current Events entry for August 22-26
2) Current Events entry for August 29 – September 2
3) Chapters 1-5 Test on Thursday 9/8.


HGov: Summer Assignment Update 3

Summer Assignment:
In your notebook: Chapters 1-5 Reading notes, Constitution Packet (glued or taped into notebook), Current Events entry for July 25-29, Current Events entry for August 1-5, Current Events entry for August 8-12, & Current Events entry for August 15-19

1) Current Events entry for August 22-26
2) Current Events entry for August 29 – September 2
3) Chapters 1-5 Test on Thursday 9/8.


HGov: Summer Assignment Reminder

Spongebob Procrastination
If you haven’t started your summer assignment, don’t procrastinate. Git-r-done.



Students are required to read Unit 1 (Chapters 1-5) and take Cornell notes.
Chapter 1: American Political Culture pp.5-33
Chapter 2: Constitutional Democracy pp.37-67
Chapter 3: Federalism pp.71-101
Chapter 4: Civil Liberties pp.104-139
Chapter 5: Equal Rights pp.142-176




Constitution Packet
Read the U. S. Constitution and complete the questions in this handout. Please make sure all the answers are in your own words.



current events7

Current Events is an integral component to studying and applying the fundamentals of United States government and the political system. The idea is to afford you the opportunity to follow important events and issues arising in the United States and provide commentary and insight, making connections to Government course content.

At the end of each week write (complete sentences; ~500 words) about the major event or events in American government and/or politics from the past week relating to US Constitutional issues.

1) Current Events entry for July 25-29
2) Current Events entry for August 1-5
3) Current Events entry for August 8-12
4) Current Events entry for August 15-19
5) Current Events entry for August 22-26
6) Current Events entry for August 29 – September 2


HGov: Politics

Power and Politics mrd
Political thinking is the careful gathering and sifting of information in the process of forming knowledgeable views of political developments. Political thinking is a key to responsible citizenship, but many citizens avoid it by virtue of paying little attention to politics.

Cultural ideals help shape what people expect from politics and inspires them to work together for a collective purpose. However, politics is more than shared ideals and common effort. It is also a struggle for power and advantage. Political scientist Harold Lasswell described it as the struggle over “who gets what, when and how.”

It is the process through which society settles its conflicts.

There are two sources of political conflict. One is scarcity. Because societies do not have enough wealth to satisfy everyone’s desires, there is conflict over the distribution of resources. Another source of political conflict are differences in values. People see issues differently as a result of differences in their beliefs, experiences, and interests.

Politics is the process by which it is determined whose values will prevail in society. Those who have power win out and are able to control governing authority and policy choices. In the United States, no one faction controls all power and policy. Majorities govern on some issues, while other issues are dominated by groups, elites, corporations, individuals through judicial action, or officials who hold public office.

Politics in the United States plays out through rules of the game that include democracy, constitutionalism, and free markets. Democracy is rule by the people, which in practice refers to a representative system of government in which the people rule through their elected officials. Constitutionalism refers to rules that limit the rightful power of government over citizens. A free market system assigns private parties the dominant role in determining how economic costs and benefits are allocated.


Summer Assignment:
1) Completed in your notebook: Chapters 1-5 Reading notes, Constitution Packet (glued or taped into notebook), Current Events entry for July 25-29, Current Events entry for August 1-5, & Current Events entry for August 8-12

1) Current Events entry for August 15-19
2) Current Events entry for August 22-26
3) Current Events entry for August 29 – September 2
4) Chapters 1-5 Test on Thursday 9/8.



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